Papercast Nativity Ornament

Papercast Ornament
This tree has me busting out all the tried and true techniques, and this papercasting technique is one I learned over a decade ago in my years of watching Carol Duvall. I love all kinds of papercrafts, but I don’t love making my own paper. The process is messy and the results are uneven. But this technique allows you to make a papercasting of any image you can stamp out of just toilet paper, with no blender required.

Papercast Ornament Tutorial Step 1
You’ll need a mold to cast your paper into, so roll out a sheet of polymer clay, and press a stamp into it. Once you bake it as instructed on the packaging, you’ll have a mold you can use again and again. If you’re great at drawing, you could even carve your own mold right into the clay. Since I knew what I wanted to do with the casting, I made my mold exactly to the star shape I needed to fit inside the little wood ornament I bought. To do that, I just pressed the wood ornament into the clay first, cut away the excess, then positioned the nativity stamp inside.

Papercast Ornament Tutorial Step 2
The paper you’ll use to make the casting is just toilet paper. The cheaper the better. The quilted kind can sometimes leave a remnant of that pattern in the final image. Use a stiff stencil brush and plain water to pounce the toilet paper firmly into all the nooks and crannies of your image. The firmer you pack the paper into that image, the better it will look in the end.

Papercast Ornament Tutorial Step 3
Continue adding the toilet paper, one piece at a time, pouncing firmly to get the layers to stick together. If your shape is bigger than a piece of toilet paper, like mine, alternate the position of the layers to cover the whole piece.

Papercast Ornament Tutorial Step 4
Keep adding layers after layer until you get a good thick coverage. For this ornament project I used 8 pieces of double ply toilet paper. Let it dry at least overnight, but it might take longer depending on the number of layers and how much water you used.

Papercast Ornament Tutorial Step 5
These wooden star ornaments with the inset area came from JoAnn’s. I painted the backs and borders gold, and then treated them with a little gold leaf to really up the amount of bling.

Papercast Ornament Tutorial Step 6
Cut the papercasting to size, and glue it inside your ornament. Attach a pretty ribbon as a hanger.

Papercast Ornament Tutorial Step 7
I’ve used this technique tons of times over the years, for scrapbook pages, cards, and package decorations, and it never fails to amaze. People think that you’ve performed some kind of laborious magic. Nobody needs to know it’s really just toilet paper.